Introducing Habakkuk

What we know of this prophet must be deduced from the contents of this brief book. The description of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) as a new and dangerous world power (Hab 1:6) suggests a date later than the fall of Assyria (612 BC) and probably after the defeat of Egypt’s army under Pharaoh Neco II (605 BC). It was definitely before (probably by several years) the fall of Jerusalem (586 BC). While we know little of Habakkuk, the description of him as simply “Habakkuk the prophet” (Hab 1:1) suggests he was well known to his contemporaries, almost certainly including Jeremiah. The book of Habakkuk consists of two complaints made by the prophet and God’s response to each (Hab 1, 2) and the prophet’s prayer or psalm (Hab 3). Although Habakkuk’s complaints are driven by circumstance, both the nature of his complaints and the response of God are timeless.


Hab 1:1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

The term “oracle” is usually a prophecy of judgment against a foreign nation. In this case the only foreign power mentioned specifically is Chaldea (Hab 1:6). The Chaldeans are first mentioned in Gen 11:28. Abraham’s family were related to and lived among the Chaldeans. At that time they lived in a place identified as Ur. Some scholars believe Ur was located near Babylon while others suggest it was closer to Nineveh. In Abraham’s time the Chaldeans were probably nomadic people and were almost certainly a powerful family. Regardless where Ur lies, by the 7th century BC the Chaldeans had settled in Babylon.


About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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